Horror trip ends on dry land
BEING tossed about by 2m waves and 30-knot winds in the middle of a shipping lane while a “big-arse” shipping freighter bore down on them was the last place Scottish backpacker Aslan Faisal expected to find himself.
Yet that is exactly where he ended up on Wednesday after he and seven friends agreed to go sailing around the Whitsunday islands with a local skipper.
After a disastrous first day sailing on the Southern Run, the boat was towed into Blue Pearl Bay by the Kiana, skippered by Brent Chatterton.
Southern Run sought to return to Abell Point Marina but instead ended up sailing out to sea at a rate of 4–5 knots.
It turned out the vessel was suffering a raft of problems.
Apart from having a line caught around its propeller, Southern Run apparently had a flat battery, a non-working anchor winch, no radio and sail problems.
The Whitsunday Volunteer Marine Rescue radio operator had to contact two bulk carriers and ask them to alter course while the VMR1 towed the Southern Run out of the shipping channel and back to Airlie Beach.
Following a five-hour tow, the relieved backpackers were put ashore at Abell Point Marina at 7pm on Wednesday.
The matter is still under investigation by water police.
PLUCKED FROM DANGER: VMR Whitsunday had to rescue and tow into shore the Southern Run (pictured) after it drifted into shipping lanes last Wednesday. Photo: Contributed